Top 5 Highest-Paying AWS Certifications

December 6, 2022 | What's Hot | 5 min read

Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications have become a leading credential, partly because the need for cloud professionals is so great today and these certifications provide an excellent way of validating one’s proficiency in a specific domain.

A couple years ago, IT decision-makers shared that the hardest area to hire for was cybersecurity (50%), with cloud computing a close second (44%). That’s changed in the past year. According to the 2022 IT Skills and Salary Report, cloud computing is now the top priority for 41% of decision-makers; with cybersecurity falling to second place with 31%.

As the demand for cloud services continues to rise, many organizations find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to sourcing and keeping skilled talent.

That’s why it’s no surprise to see AWS certifications associated with some of the highest salaries in the industry. For example, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional ranks highly on our 15 Top-Paying Certifications List. In 2022, professionals with this certification reported making an average of $158,485, ranking it in the top five.

In compiling this list, we found that hundreds of IT Skills and Salary survey respondents in the US and Canada hold AWS certifications. So, we dug into the data to learn about the people who hold these certifications, how much they make (on average), and what makes them successful.

The data shows that on average these professionals make $128,467—ranking as one of the highest-paying certification categories in North America.

But what goes into a salary like that? What skills or knowledge do you need to reach these levels of expertise? We break it down.

Snapshot: Top 5 Highest-Paying AWS Certifications in North America

Certification
2022 Average Salary

AWS Certified Developer

$165,333

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

$158,485

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

$148,348

AWS Certified Security - Specialty

$146,300

AWS Certified Big Data — Specialty

$134,793

Below, read about some of the leading certifications from AWS in North America (US and Canada) and how to earn them.

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AWS Certified Developer

Ranking No. 2 on our 15 Top-Paying Certification List, the average salary for those holding the AWS Certified Developer – Associate certificate is $165,333. To achieve this increasingly popular certification, candidates should have:

  • A good grasp on choosing the right AWS services for the application
  • Leveraging software development kits (SDKs) to interact with services from your application
  • Writing code that optimizes performance
  • Code-level application security

Popular Courses for this Certification:

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Amazon Web Services offers both associate and professional levels of its AWS Certified Solutions Architect certifications. You must earn your associate-level certification before advancing to the professional level.

Associate Level (No. 8 on our 15 Top-Paying Certification List)

Based on our 2022 IT Skills and Salary Survey, the average salary for those holding AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate level in the United States and Canada is $148,348. A few concepts candidates should know prior to taking the exam include:

  • Designing and deploying scalable, highly available systems on AWS
  • Selecting the correct AWS service based on requirements
  • Deploying on-premises apps to AWS

Popular Courses for this Certification:

Once you have obtained the Associate certificate, IT specialists should consider the Professional level as the next step. It has an average salary of $158,485, according to the 65 survey respondents who hold this certification. Candidates should have:

  • Experience designing and deploying scalable and reliable applications on AWS
  • An ability to migrate complex multi-tier applications on AWS

Popular Courses for this Certification:

AWS Certified Security - Specialty

The average salary for those holding the AWS Certified Security - Specialty certification is $146,300. This certification enables tenured cloud security professionals to demonstrate their ability to secure the AWS cloud. Candidates seeking this certification should understand concepts such as:

  • Specialized data classifications and AWS data protection mechanisms
  • Data encryption methods and AWS mechanisms to implement them
  • Security operations and risk

Popular Course for this Certification:

AWS Certified Big Data - Specialty

The AWS Certified Big Data — Specialty certification boast an average salary of $134,793 in the United States and Canada, based on a total of 60 respondents. This certification validates your technical skills and experience in designing and implementing AWS services to extract and demonstrate value from data. The exam is for individuals who perform complex big data analyses and validates the ability to:

  • Implement core AWS Big Data services according to basic architectural best practices
  • Design and maintain big data
  • Leverage tools to automate data analysis

Popular Courses for this Certification:

How to Stay Dedicated to Earning AWS Certifications

When it comes to earning any certification, you can count on it taking time and resources (perhaps several cups of coffee), to acquire the knowledge or skill that will help you pass the exam. Not only is it important to study the material, but it also helps to reinforce these concepts with everyday tasks, hands-on labs, or even with a colleague. By constantly challenging yourself and training on new practices and principles, you separate yourself from the rest.

To jumpstart your AWS certification training, we encourage you to check out our Cloud Career Journey.